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Minecraft Server Project: Designing Synchronous Blended Learning Environments to Support Distributed Mentorship

Minecraft Server Project: Designing Synchronous Blended Learning Environments to Support Distributed Mentorship
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Author(s): Ugochi Acholonu (DePaul University, USA), Jessa Dickinson (DePaul University, USA), Dominic Amato (DePaul University, USA) and Nichole Pinkard (DePaul University, USA)
Copyright: 2017
Pages: 23
Source title: Moving Students of Color from Consumers to Producers of Technology
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Yolanda Rankin (Spelman College, USA) and Jakita Thomas (Auburn University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2005-4.ch010

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Abstract

Opportunities to participate in computing-related informal programs are limited in terms of quantity and geographic distribution. This limitation is due, in part, to the dearth of adults who have the expertise to mentor youth on computational concepts. This chapter introduces the Digital Youth Network Minecraft Server Project, which aims to reduce the barriers to for non-expert adults to be able to provide informal, computing-related learning opportunities to diverse youth. Using Minecraft, an online multiplayer game, the authors investigate a blended approach to mentorship that diversifies who can lead informal computing opportunities. This study examines learner-mentor interactions in a Synchronous Blended Learning Environment (SBLE) focused on engaging African American and Latina middle school girls in computer science. The chapter concludes with design recommendations for SBLEs to better support the needs of mentors facilitating computing opportunities for African American and Latina middle-school girls.

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